Big business opportunities in the Big Science market

Millions and billions of dollars are spent daily to construct telescopes, synchrotrons, and other Big Science infrastructures to solve the most challenging questions of our societies of today. These infrastructures are not only the home of future technologies, such as the internet, medical diagnostics, and various information technologies but also – potential business partners.

What is the Big Science market?

Big Science is all the large-scale instruments and facilities, supported by funding from governments or international agencies, in which research is conducted by teams or groups of scientists and technicians from different countries. CERNEMBLESAESOESRFESS, ITER, European XFEL, and ILL  are amongst the most known  BigScience facilities in the market.

These complex infrastructures are in constant need of advanced engineering, electrical and mechanical products, sophisticated materials and maintenance services in many fields   A range of suppliers, contractors, consultants, and other stakeholders are working in this growing Big Science market.

According to, the Big Science Market was estimated to be valued at $29.1 Billion in 2020 with a 7.4% annual growth rate. It is estimated that by 2025 it will reach $41.6 Billion.

Big Science Market size (source:

All competencies and technologies are needed

As the Big Science market often requests advanced solutions, they seek innovative SMEs to co-develop new solutions which can accommodate the needs of these state-of-the-art facilities. Everything from construction engineering and electronics to precise mechanics and ICT solutions is needed and every small and large company has a possibility to become a partner of this industry.

Business sector’s relevance to the Big Science market (source:

Although the scientific goals of CERNESA, the European XFEL and the ITER  fusion project are very different, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of everyday operations, the technologies required to probe the fundamental nature of the universe and to explore our little corner of it are strikingly similar.  If a company can make instruments that can withstand the harsh environment of space, then they might be able to build instruments that can operate in a fusion reactor, too.

Electric vehicles, actuators, custom-designed mechatronic products, server rooms, superconducting magnets, 3D printing parts, software and computation hardware architectures, lasers and optics are only a few examples of what services Big Science organisations need.

”SMEs get chance to work with an advanced client, develop new products or solutions. It is often sophisticated, international work. The branding value of being selected for cooperation with BSOs is high. And BSOs are clients who pay.”- about the benefits of cooperation with BIG Science organizations says Esther Davidsen, BIGINN Coordinator and & Senior Specialist at

How to start doing business in the Big Science market?

Each SME can apply for cooperation with the Big Science organizations by participating in international projects, international public procurements or being shortlisted as a privileged supplier.

This can be done by themselves or with the help of an Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO) in their country. The ILOs provides information on upcoming tenders, networking events with the possibility to meet BSO procurement professionals, provides free assistance and advice on tender submissions.

Meet Big Science in one place

Want to meet the main players in one place? Be a part of the “Big Science Business Forum 2022” that will take place on 4-7 October 2022 in Granada (Spain).

BSBF2022 is a business-oriented conference which aims to be the main meeting point between Research Infrastructures and industry. It will gather 11 Big Science facilities, more than 1000 delegates from 500 companies and organisations from across Europe.

With the help of BIGINN Partnership and ClusterXchange mobility scheme, you can receive a 415 Eur lump-sum to cover travel and accommodation expenses. More information

This was article is funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme.

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.